Desserts are almost everyone’s favorite part of any meal. Our sweet tooths send us on the hunt for delightfully flavorful dishes to satisfy our cravings. Whether you prefer simple cookies and cakes or you prefer more elegant and involved dishes like crème brulee and tiramisu.
Desserts can vary greatly across the board. If you aren’t a huge sweets fan there are most likely still desserts that appeal to you. Crème brulee just may be one such dessert. This is a mild dessert that has just the right amount of sweetness to make it sumptuous.
Crème brulee has long been a dish that many are intimidated by because it has its challenges in making it just right. One such challenge is using the right ingredients.
What is the best type of sugar for crème brulee? Sugar that is not overly coarse is the best for making crème brulee. Granulated sugar is a perfect choice, but you can also use baker’s sugar, which is finer than granulated sugar but coarser than powdered sugar.
In this guide, we will share with you the best sugar options for crème brulee. We have some specific tips and products to share with you in an effort to ensure you have the best sugar to be able to successfully make your own crème brulee.
Keep reading to learn the best sugar for crème brulee and so much more.
Your Guide to Crème Brulee & Sugar
Sure, you can just use any old sugar if you want to. But there is a certain art to getting that sugar to caramelize without affecting the rest of the dish. This art comes in using the right sugar for the job.
If you’ve been making crème brulee for any length of time, you’ve probably experienced first-hand just how important using the right sugar is.
If you’re a beginner, then maybe you’ve had the sugar struggle and you’re looking for some guidance so you can get yours to turn out just right.
Whatever the case may be, we’re here to help!
We’ve done some testing and sampling as well as some detailed research to try to determine just what sugar works the best when you’re making crème brulee. We’re here to share all of that information with you.
How Crème Brulee is Made
To give you an idea of just why your sugar may be so important, we’ve put together a quick example of a crème brulee recipe.
There are numerous recipes available. Some are more complicated than others. This is just a simple option that we are providing to use as a reference point to understand how the sugar on your crème brulee can impact the end result.
- To make crème brulee, you will need heavy cream, sugar, egg yolks, salt, and vanilla. Some people add espresso powder for a twist in the flavor. You can flavor them differently; this is just an example.
- Begin by heating the heavy cream and salt on the stove in a saucepan.
- Separately whisk together egg yolks and sugar.
- Remove cream from heat and add vanilla.
- Temper egg and sugar mixture, whisking in heavy cream slowly.
- Pour mixture into ramekins dish and bake until the edges are set and the center is jiggly. At 325, this takes 30-35 minutes, depending on your oven.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Place in fridge at least 4 hours or even overnight.
- Prior to serving, top with sugar and caramelize using either your broiler or a kitchen torch.
The way to perfect the dish is to get just the right ratio of egg yolks and heavy cream. These are the two primary ingredients of the dish.
Ok, not let’s talk about the best sugar.
Choosing Crème Brulee Sugar Coating
You can find a lot of mixed reviews as to what type of sugar you should use for your crème brulee coating. One thing the reviews will tell you is that you will want to make sure the sugar you choose is not too coarse.
If the sugar is overly coarse, you may run into an issue with having sugar that does not cook with the torch. Or, by the time you get the sugar all cooked appropriately, you end up melting some of the crème filling which is certainly not the result you want to see.
We recommend using a super-fine sugar. Even traditional granulated sugar works quite well. Here are our top recommendations.
1. C&H Pure Cane Granulated Sugar
C&H is a well-known sugar production company. They’ve been filling store shelves with sugar for a number of years and it’s safe to say their sugar is reliable and trustworthy.
This particular sugar is simply a pure white granulated sugar. Granulated sugar tends to be fairly fine and therefore you shouldn’t have an issue with any coarseness ruining your crème brulee topping.
These come in closable containers and you can purchase a single bottle or even a 2-pack or 6-pack if you need it. This granulated sugar is both pure and fine so it’s a great option for your dessert skills.
It is also one of the more affordable options that you can use for many other things as well.
2. C&H Professional Baker’s Sugar, Ultrafine
If you simply want the best of the best sugar to take care of your sugar needs, this is a great option. This ultrafine sugar also comes from C & H.
This sugar is specialty sugar for the professional baker and it will do very well for that crème brulee topping.
This sugar is ultrafine and comes in a 4-pound box. A little bit of ultrafine sugar often goes a long way.
The ultrafine granules will be perfect when you torch the crème brulee and should cook quickly and evenly.
This sugar is slightly more expensive but still reasonable for professional quality. You can purchase a single box or a 4-pack. C & H Professional Baker’s sugar goes through a special refining process to produce the finest granules possible.
3. Judee’s Superfine Caster Baker’s Sugar
This is a specialty brand superfine baker’s sugar but it’s well-made and it’s manufactured and packaged in the USA. If you’re conscious of needing nut-free and gluten-free guarantees, this is a great option.
This superfine sugar is well-priced and thanks to the superfine granules, your crème brulee will be perfect when you torch the top!
This sugar comes in a resealable package that is foil-lined and moisture-proof. It’s designed to stand alone and be airtight to appropriately store and preserve the sugar within.
The unique package will help prevent clumping and hardening in storage.
4. Ideal No Calorie Xylitol Sweetener
Perhaps you prefer a sugar substitute but still need a suitable option for coating that crème brulee.
Check out this Xylitol sugar substitute that will work very similarly to granulated sugar.
This sweetener has fine granules that act almost exactly like sugar, including the flavor of sugar. The only difference is these granules are zero calories and much healthier for you than sugar.
This is a great option if you worry about diabetic tendencies or if you are following specific eating plans that restrict sugar.
This sugar option is well-priced and comes in a pack of 6. The bags are resealable pouches. You measure this sugar just as you would your everyday granulated sugar.
You will not even notice the difference between using granulated sugar or using this sugar substitute.
You can choose any brand or type of sugar you like in order to achieve the perfect topping for your crème brulee. The one thing you will want to keep in mind is that you need your sugar to be small and fine in order to get the perfect results.
There are tons of granulated and superfine or ultrafine sugar options so just try to choose what you prefer but keep in mind that you want to avoid coarse granules.
We hope that you find this guide to choosing the best sugar for crème brulee to be a valuable resource. Remember that you simply want to choose a fine or granulated sugar that is not overly coarse or large for the best results.
We invite you to take a look at the following question and answer section for some additional information that could be useful.
Do You Have to Torch the Top of Crème Brulee?
Using a kitchen torch to caramelize that sugar coating is the key finishing touch to get your crème brulee perfect. If you don’t have a kitchen torch, you can use your oven broiler as a suitable alternative for a similar result.
Can You Use Brown Sugar Instead of White Sugar?
Yes, brown sugar will work quite well as a coating for your crème brulee. As with white sugar, you will want to make sure it’s granulated or ultrafine for the best results.
Does Powdered Sugar Work as a Topping?
Powdered sugar is deceivingly fine since it is in a powder form but it will not produce the desired effect. We do not recommend using powdered sugar to finish your crème brulee.